Thursday, December 20, 2012

Homework for the Break - 2012

Assuming that we all survive the end of the Mayan calendar tomorrow you have some tasks to complete over break to be ready for your return to school.  Look below for some refreshers.

Freshman Focus

You all have no work to complete over the break. I hope that you all enjoy your time off and settle in with a good book or two.  If you're traveling, safe travels.  If you're staying home, enjoy the time off.  It'll be lovely.  See you in 2013.

AP English III

Over the break you have two major priorities.  First, you need to finish reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  We are going to have relatively quick turn around between our final discussion of the text and our examination of the book.  You should all expect your exam to happen the week of the 7th of January.  Pay close attention to Tom Sawyer at the end of the novel - he becomes an important force.

Furthermore, you need to put in a lot of work on your website projects over break.  There are a few goals that I am setting for you outside of any goals that your group has made.  First, all members of the group must have their annotations, text, and analysis uploaded for review by the end of the break.  I would suggest getting this completed by the end of next week.  Then, in your groups, you will want to review and edit the various analyses.  This editing and reviewing portion will then begin to prepare you for the synthesis.  I will be giving you some direct instruction on how to complete this portion of the assignment when we return, but remember that by using the mock-up page you will get some good overview information on this part of the assignment.

Remember everyone that this is a team project - if a member of your team is not pulling his/her weight with the group, I expect that you will render him/her any possible assistance before moving to dismissal.  If you need help, you must ask, as soon as you recognize that you need help.  This is not the type of project in which you can wait until the last minute and expect to get good work done.

English IV

Your major priority is to complete the first draft of your essays.  These first drafts can be hand written or typed, but they need to be complete.  Make sure that you have this essay on the first day back from break due to the fact that we will be editing and reviewing these assignments.

That's all!  Have a lovely break and a Happy New Year!  С НОВЫМ ГОДОМ!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Homework for Tuesday/Wednesday - 18th/19th of December

We're almost to Winter Break!  Don't let yourselves slack until the bell rings on Friday afternoon at 2:30.  All of you have something to prepare for your last day of class in 2012.

Freshman Focus

Next class we will be having our skits of examples of positive and negative interview experiences.  I hope that you and your group mates have prepared today during class in order to present these skits tomorrow.  After each skit, the audience will critique the positives and negatives.  Beyond this, remember that you have essays due for me on Thursday/Friday of your college essay.  Remember to turn in your rough draft with your final draft to get full credit.

AP English III

Next class we will have time to meet in our website groups in order to set goals and procedures for working over Winter Break.  The important thing to remember is that these websites should begin to look more complete by the end of break.  As a rule, your analysis, annotations, citations, and introduction pages should be done leaving only the synthesis left to complete.  Make sure that you are communicating effectively in your group and meeting your goals while you keep everyone accountable.

Furthermore, make sure that you have read to the end of chapter thirty-three by your next class.  There are some really amazing things for us to discuss and we'll be changing the structure of our conversation a bit to change things up a bit.  Look forward to that.

English IV

By this point all classes should have a clear understanding of what they are doing in their essays.  Your goal is to finish your draft by the time you return from break.  This is an expectation for all of you.  Next class we will have our second grammar test and finish watching V for Vendetta.  Feel free to bring snacks!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Homework for the Weekend and Monday

And now it's time for the last week before Winter Break.  Pay attention below so that you're prepared for our final days of class. 

Freshman Focus

After today you should have notes on your first draft of your college essays.  If you did not have your essay today in class remember to see me on a B-day at lunch so that you can get your credit made-up.  For homework this weekend you will need to finish your answers on question four related to the film Akeelah and the Bee.  Remember to answer in a complete paragraph using clear details from the film to support your ideas.  I'll collect your notes and responses in class on Tuesday/Wednesday.

AP English III

Today we went over some important information related to your satire projects.  I'm putting that document here so that you can refer back to it as you're working.  The document also has the website address for the mock-up that you should be using to create your final site.

Over the weekend you should be putting in some work on your personal rhetorical analysis and some other work in your collaboration.  On Tuesday/Wednesday you'll have your final timed writing for 2012 and we will discuss a lot of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - please make sure you're to the end of chapter twenty-eight.  Also be aware that I will be checking your vocabulary bookmarks again.  Have at least fifteen new words on your third bookmark.

English IV

Over the weekend you should all be working on your essays.  Remember that rough drafts of the essays in their complete form will be peer edited the day we return from break.  If you need any help, please e-mail me or speak to me so that you can get yourself on a good page.  The assignment that you have due on Tuesday/Wednesday asks you to reflect on the author you read today in class.  Your question to answer in a one page response is:

What would _________ say about the living conditions in 1984?  Why?

Be sure that as you answer this question you draw on your knowledge from the speech as well as your knowledge of the novel.  You should focus on your author that you read and studied.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Posting a Day Late


As the A-day students are aware I was out yesterday.  I hope that you time with the substitute was productive and that you got a lot of individual work completed.  For the most part, the feedback I received was generally positive.  Here are some notes and reminders for all of you moving into Friday/Monday.

Freshman Focus

On Friday/Monday we will be finishing Akeelah and the Bee as well as having a draft workshop on our college essay assignment.  Please make sure that you have your rough draft done and that you bring it with you to class in order to get credit.  You will only get half credit if you just participate in editing with no draft.  Final drafts of the essays will be collected on the final day of the quarter before Winter Break (Thursday/Friday).  Don't miss any deadlines.

AP English III

I hope that the opening of Gone with the Wind has made a bit clearer the antebellum Southern society which Twain so mercilessly satirizes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  We will not watch more of the film due to the fact that it is about five hours long, but I do invite all of you to finish it as it is a really great movie.

For Friday/Monday I would like for you to be to the end of chapter twenty eight in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well as having finished the analysis guide on Anzaldua's "How to Tame a Wild Tongue".  We will be discussing both texts thoroughly in class as well as reviewing the answers to the multiple choice questions.  You need to have already finished answering the questions before coming into class.

Lastly, we will have some time to discuss the project more.  I think that after I review the requirements with you a bit more thoroughly that you all will see what you need to be doing now.  Remember that I expect most of the work on these to be done over Winter Break as you'll have finished the book by that point, but you can go ahead and begin sooner, rather than later, which is always the best option.

English IV

Next class we will be working through a discussion of the major points that Liveley makes in her story "Next Term, We'll Mash You" as well as drawing connections to the larger work related to human rights that we've been doing.  Please make sure that you've thoroughly read the story, answered the questions, and that you've completed your vocabulary log.  We will also move forward with our study of Desmond Tutu and Aung San Suu Kyi by looking at excerpts of two of their speeches. 

Lastly, you should be working on your body paragraphs at this point.  Rough drafts of the essays will be checked after we return from break and this will be your task for the holiday.  I would suggest that you spend some time this weekend getting the essay put together so that you have nothing to do over the break for class.

I think that does it!  Enjoy your afternoon, see you all Friday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homework for All Classes 12/10 and 12/11

Tonight all classes have goals to accomplish.  Look below for specific notes to help you out.

Freshman Focus

Today in class we began the mock college application process.  By this point you should all have an application on which you are working.  Tonight, I want you to spend some time working through brainstorming your college essay.  If your application does not have an essay which really draws you in or interests you, I offer you this topic:

Describe a risk that you have taken and discuss its impact on your life.

You might want to begin with a few possible ideas to answer this question and then follow the one that you can discuss the most thoroughly.  Remember that you want to be specific and personal.  Rough drafts will be collected from you on Friday/Monday and we will be editing that day.

AP English III

Tonight you have a few goals to accomplish.  First, I would like for you to read Gloria Anzaldua's "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" - it's available in 50 Essays or at this link.  As you read this piece you're going to want to think about a few major ideasthe idea of language as an act of revolution, the connection between language and identity, and the use of vernacular.  Also, you're going to want to consider how the author manipulates her organization in order to emphasize her points.  You'll be doing a lot of individual work on this piece on Wednesday/Thursday.  So, be prepared for that.

Also on Wednesday/Thursday you will have some time in your groups to work on separating out your work on the Satire websites.  By Thursday you should each have decided on your text that you will analyze and you should begin to create those pages on your website.  Your individual pages must be up by the end of the day on Sunday - that way you can start to fill those pages with content.  

Lastly, stay on your reading schedules.  We will be spending a lot of time on Friday/Monday discussing TAoHF.  Be prepared with thorough annotations!  

English IV

Leaving the room today you should all have your introduction paragraphs done.  Consider yourselves on the way to finishing your essays.  Tonight I want you to collect the evidence that you are planning to use in this essay.  I would recommend that you make a list of page numbers or moments in the text and then organize those moments around the different parts of your thesis.  This will then make your lives a lot easier as you begin to write your body paragraphs.  

Please let me know if you need any help with anything.  Remember A-day students that I will not be in on Wednesday.  See me Thursday or Friday with any questions or concerns.    

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homework for the Weekend - 12/6 and 12/7

Here are your announcements and reminders for the weekend.  Pay attention to the notes below, especially Juniors and Seniors as you will be getting some important notes for completing your assignments.

Freshman Focus

No homework for you all to complete this weekend.  We'll be talking about college searches and researching colleges next week - so you might want to think about the type of school you'd be interested in over the weekend.  I hope that you all will enjoy your weekend without homework and get some good reading and relaxing done.

AP English III

Over the weekend you've got a few things to take care of related to your study of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  You need to make progress on your next reading goal which is to be to the end of chapter twenty-eight by the 10th/11th.  We will likely not be discussing these chapters until the following class as we're about a day behind on our discussions.  Next class we'll be looking at the Grangerford section and the characters of the Duke and the Dauphin.  You may find it helpful to review that section.

Related to your project, there are several things to take care of this weekend.  First, you need to finish your group contract.  I'll be collecting these on Monday/Tuesday and giving you a completion grade for having all of the areas of the contract done.  Also on Monday/Tuesday you'll be getting a grade for having your site set up and shared.  You need to share it with each member of your group and with me.  This will be the second half of your completion grade.

The mockup for the site is available at -- Please use this mock-up to see what you need to include on each page and what you will need to do on each part of the assignment.  This is like your instructions for the project, if you have any questions about this project, do not hesitate to ask.

English IV

Over the weekend I would like for you to complete the introduction of your essay.  You already have a third of your introduction done if you have your thesis statement done.  Your thesis statement will come last.  Before that you will create a hook, and then a link.  The hook should be a sentence or two related to your topic which will grab my attention as a reader.  You could use a quote, you could create an image, or you could ask a thought provoking (not yes/no) question.  In the link you then want to introduce the title and author of the text and explain how the topic is connected to the book.  This then leads to the thesis.

I will be checking these on Monday/Tuesday and we will edit them, please make sure that you're meeting your deadlines on your essay.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Homework for 12/4 and 12/5

All classes have a task to complete for tonight, follow me below the greeting for a quick reminder as to what these things are.

Freshman Focus

Tonight I would like for you to reflect on your classmates presentations of their Utopian schools.  In a complete paragraph for each question, I would like for you to answer the following:

1.  Which of your classmates' schools would you like to attend if you had the chance?  Why?

2.  Which of your classmates' schools would you not like to attend?  Why?

As you answer the questions be sure that you are drawing not only on your personal opinion but also the information presented to you by each group.  I look forward to reading your responses.

AP English III

Tonight you have two things to read for me in order to prepare for next class.  First, you need to stay on your schedule and meet your next major milestone which is to be to the end of chapter twenty-two.  This is a significant chunk of pages, but it does tend to move quite quickly.  Pay attention to the new characters of the Duke and the Dauphin as well as the situation Huck undergoes while he is with the Grangerfords.  We will be focusing a lot on some very specific sections on Thursday/Friday - come equipped with thorough annotations.

In addition, I would like for you to complete the reading of Oluadah Equiano's Narrative - this is an excerpt of a real slave narrative.  Remember that the point to reading this is to get a fuller understanding of the experience of being in slavery and the dehumanizing aspect therein.  Remember that Jim's experiences are severely different from Equiano's, yet Equiano's experiences would be a part of Jim's identity as a slave.  This, in a way, is his ancestry.  We will discuss this piece tangentially as it relates to Jim, read carefully and look for new vocabulary of which there is a lot.

English IV

Walking out of class today you should all have your thesis statements done for your essay as well as having an idea as to what portions of the novel you are going to explain in your essay.  Tonight, I would like for you to continue to devote time and energy into finding examples and organizing them around the bigger topics within your thesis.  We will be working on our essays every day in class over the next few classes.  Be prepared and productive to ensure a solid performance.

Lastly - you all got progress reports today as well as information on how to access your grades through Jupiter Grades.  Please share the login information with your parents so that they can also be kept in the loop.

Monday, December 3, 2012

AP English III - Twain Satire Video

Sorry for all of the technology issues today - here's a link to the video on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the opinion of Jon Stewart.

Also - B-day Students - Be sure to read the articles I gave you today after you watch the video for a different perspective on the issue of language and changing language within a text.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Homework for the Weekend/Monday - 11/30 and 12/3

Some important reminders for all of you to be aware of this weekend and Monday to prepare for Tuesday/Wednesday's classes.

First, all of you will be getting official progress reports on Tuesday/Wednesday.  I expect that you will take these home and get them signed so that I know that you have been in communication with your parents.  If you receive any additional paperwork to take home, I expect that you will also return that to me.

Freshman Focus

No homework for the weekend; we will have an assignment related to the Utopian School Projects on Tuesday/Wednesday night, so do be prepared for that.

AP English III

Over the weekend you need to be working on meeting your next reading goal which is to be to the end of chapter twenty-two by the class on Thursday/Friday.  This next section is vitally important in Huck's development.  Also, we will begin on our major project related to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and satire.  Make sure that your google accounts are active.

Next class you will have your first rhetorical analysis.  Prepare by reviewing your notes.  This will be a prompt you've never seen before, but the process is always the same.  Just be sure that you're ready.  Remember - car and driver - you've got to have both.  While you complete the timed writing I will be grading your journals and your vocabulary bookmarks. 

English IV

Now that we've finished reading 1984 I want you to tell me what you thought of it.  Please answer the following question in a one page response, using clear details from the text to explain your opinion. 

What did you think of 1984?  Why?
I will be collecting this assignment for a grade on Tuesday/Wednesday.  Also, if you have any tests that need to be turned in or any other make up work to turn in, get that done this weekend too as the window to submit those assignments will soon be closed.  And by soon, I mean Tuesday/Wednesday, after I give out progress reports.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Homework for 11/28 and 11/29

Apologies for not posting your assignments last night.  Here are your reminders to prepare for Friday/Monday.

Freshman Focus

Your presentations will be next class.  We will begin presentations right when class begins so if there is any preparation that needs to be done in advance it needs to happen over the weekend.  Remember that there will be two grades here, your shared group grade for the powerpoint and then your individual grade for the presentation.  Your individual grade will also include your question and answer session in which I test your knowledge of your content.  Make sure that you are fully prepared.

AP English III

There are a few things going on over the next few days, here we go.  First, you need to give me your gmail account using the form in the previous post if you haven't already done that.  I need this information soon because we will begin our website project and that project will require the use of a gmail account for ease of creation.  Second, we will have a timed writing on Tuesday/Wednesday.  The timed writing will be a rhetorical analysis.  We've spent several classes preparing for this new task; I look forward to seeing what you all produce for me.  Remember that timed writings do count as a test grade.

Third, you need to stay on your grind, and by grind I mean reading schedule.  Remember that your next checkin is to be to the end of chapter sixteen, there was a misprint (my mistake) on your bookmarks.  Fourth, I will be checking your vocabulary bookmarks for completion on Friday/Monday.  I expect to see words from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby on these bookmarks.  Fifth, and very lastly, make sure that you've reviewed the reading by Sojorner Truth for a brief discussion and review on Friday/Monday.  There are a few important ideas that I want to go over with you all related to how Truth uses rhetoric to persuade her audience.

English IV

Today in class we had a great conversation related to the next to last chapter as well as some of the big ideas in this text:  power, humanity, authority, and truth or reality.  These ideas are all some that you can incorporate into your papers if you wish.  Tonight, you need to begin your first portion of your paper - your thesis statement.  On Friday/Monday I will conference with each of you about your thesis statement and we will make sure that you're starting off on a good point - then we'll move to the next phase of the essay which is collecting evidence and organizing it.

Essays are challenging because of all of the pieces that must be done in order for the essay to be successful.  This will be a very major test grade for you this quarter, please make sure that you meet your goals and are working hard to accomplish this.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Homework for 11/26 and 11/27

Freshman Focus

Your presentations of your Utopian Schools will be happening on Friday/Monday.  Please make sure that you are moving toward perfection with your presentation.  Remember that you need to be an expert on one aspect of the school.  If you feel as though you need to work on the powerpoint, work on that tonight.  Remember that our final day in class to work in the media center is going to be on Wednesday/Thursday.

AP English III

Tonight for homework you've got a few things to accomplish.  First, stay on your reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - your next checkin date is Friday/Monday.  Next class we're going to go into the details a bit more on the first twelve chapters and do some textual analysis.  Very fun, yes.  Next, please use this form here to give me your gmail accounts.  It's important that you have these accounts by Friday/Monday due to the fact that we will begin our website project then and you will need a gmail account to complete the assignment. 

Also, be aware that there will be a vocabulary check soon - you need to have your second round of twenty words done.  Finally, you need to work on the Rhetorical Analysis prompt a bit today.  Please complete a thesis for this passage and thoroughly annotate the passage looking for examples you could discuss to prove the thesis.  We will spend time prepping this tomorrow.

English IV

Your work tonight is up to you.  Most of you have something to make up to get credit for class.  Make sure that you have this ready to turn in on Wednesday/Thursday.  I'm not going to take any late work past this point unless you have an excused absence on Wednesday/Thursday.

At the very least you MUST have the dialectical notebook done for Wednesday/Thursday's class.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Homework for Thanksgiving Break

All classes have something to accomplish over break.  Please follow the guidelines below to ensure that you come back to school with all of your deadlines met.

Freshman Focus

Over the break I would suggest putting some work into your powerpoints on your Utopian School.  Remember that we will only be in the computer lab for two more classes before we do presentations.  I don't want any of the groups to be left in the lurch, so make sure that you're meeting your goals.  Also, remember that each member of the group needs to be an "expert" on one portion of the school design and implementation.  Each person will have to answer questions, be sure that you've shared your ideas and have good answers.

AP English III

With the student surveys today we did not get through nearly as much as I wanted to; apologies for that.  Over the break you need to keep moving forward in your reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Remember that you should develop your focus on characters as well as topics and motifs.  If I were to check your annotations when we get back from break, I would like to make sure that a full character list is in your front cover. 

In addition to reading your bit in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, you're also going to read Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman" - located in 50 Essays or at this link.  Continue to pay attention to the ideas of language and identity.  We'll be discussing this in comparison to Tan before we begin to crack open Twain. 

English IV

Over break I would like for you to read chapters three and four of Book Three in 1984.  To help you with your reading I want you to complete the dialectical notebook assignment.  For every two pages you should record one quotation and then write down your thoughts or reflection on the quotation.  There are some ideas to consider or questions to ponder to help you with the writing of your reflection on the quotes.  I will collect your quotes and reflections for a grade.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I'll see you when we get back together next week!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Homework for the Weekend - 11/15 and 11/16

Below are your reminders for the weekend.  Please continue to work hard, meet your deadlines, and ask for any assistance that you may need from me.

Freshman Focus

I've been really happy to see all of you working hard in your groups to accomplish the goals of your Utopian School project.  On Monday you will have another good chunk of time to continue working and planning your schools.  Please make sure that you are being an active member of your group and working well with others to accomplish your shared goal.  Furthermore, remember that you will need to incorporate Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs into the discussion of your school.  You will want to focus on that as we continue to move forward. 

AP English III

Today I gave you your homework from now until Winter Break - your reading schedule for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Be sure that you meet your deadlines.  Also, be aware that it is better to be ahead than behind - Read ahead especially over Thanksgiving Break!  Over the weekend you will need to meet your first reading goal as well as read the article "Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan.  The article is in 50 Essays and at this link.  As you read the article think about the ideas of language and its connection to a person's identity, just like Twain began to develop in his "Explanatory" before the novel began.  Furthermore, you will want to continue to annotate your texts and glean vocabulary from all of the pieces you read.  You should begin to prepare yourselves for another Bookmark check soon!

English IV

If you did not finish your collage/interpretation assignment, you will want to make that a priority over the weekend.  Also, I would like for you to read Chapter II of Book Three.  This is a very long chapter, so I would like to provide you with some areas to focus on in your reading.  Look primarily for the ideas of power, truth, and memory.  Most of this chapter takes place as a dialogue between Winston and O'Brien, so it should read pretty quickly. 

I think that does it.  Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

AP English III Extra Credit

Please respond in this thread to earn extra credit on today's exam on The Great Gatsby.  In a comment, respond to the following topic:

T.S. Eliot and F. Scott Fitzgerald share many similarities between them - namely they are both modernists and they both explore the emptiness of humanity as they see it.  Comment on what you find to be the most significant similarity or difference between The Great Gatsby and "The Hollow Men".  Why is this similarity or difference the most important to you?  When looking at both texts, what do you see that the author is attempting to communicate?

Posts must be done before class begins on Thursday/Friday to be eligible for credit.  Make sure that you include your name in your post to receive credit.

Homework for All Classes - 11/13 and 11/14

Dear Students!  It's time for another short week here at school before we have a super short week next week.  Keep working hard before the Thanksgiving break and you will be rewarded!  Here are your reminders for tonight:

Freshman Focus

Next class we will be spending a majority of our class time working on the in class group project.  I liked seeing the discussions today and noticing the different directions that all of the groups were taking.  Remember that the goal is to meet all of the needs in the Hierarchy while still providing a quality education.  I look forward to seeing what you all come up with.

AP English III

You all should take some time to relax tonight as you've just completed a major assessment.  I hope that you all found that this test was one you were well prepared for due to your annotations, reading, and your discussion of the text.  Remember that for next class you will need to have a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (I'll have some that you can check out) and you will need to have your vocabulary slides completed.  I will be grading the slides immediately after class, so no late work will be accepted.  Links to upload your slides are in the previous posts.  Make sure that you complete the proer assignment - one for A-day and one for B-day.  Don't get it twisted.

English IV

Tonight I would like for you to finish reading Chapter One of Book Three.  We will move quickly through the final section of the novel as it reads very fast.  Soon we will be beginning our final essay on this book and putting our skills at writing and communication to the test.  I look forward to seeing what all of you prepare for me.  In addition, be reminded that you will have a quiz next class on Chapter One.  Consider yourselves warned.

Friday, November 9, 2012

AP English III - B Day Homework - 11/9

B Day AP English III Students:

Over the weekend you have many of the same things to accomplish as the A-day students.  I'm not going to rehash exactly what that is as you can just read the post below.

Your vocabulary slides are going to be due on the 16th of November, the link for you all to use is located here.  Please make sure that you follow the rules to the letter.  I would recommend that you try to get these done over the weekend and that way if you have problems using Google Docs we can work that out together before the final due date.  I just want to reiterate that we are now moving to the point of the year where excuses will not be tolerated for not doing the assignments as given.  You need to ask for help before, not on the due date.

And now, without further waiting, here are the photos from today:


Apologies for not getting good photos of all of the groups.  I hope that you all enjoyed the skits today and I appreciate the fact that you stuck around after class to watch the final presentation.  I look forward to your performance on your exam on Tuesday.  Study hard this weekend!  And be sure to review the end of the book - it's pretty significant.

Make sure that you do read over the A-day post so that you're aware of your study tips and your next novel requirement.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

AP English III - A Day Homework - 11/8

A-Day AP English III Students:

Over the weekend you have a few things to take care of, here they are in the order of importance.

1.  Study for your exam on The Great Gatsby.  You will have quotation identifications, short answer questions, and an annotation/rhetorical analysis assignment.  Be aware that I will also be checking your final annotations the day of the test.  Your covers should be complete as well as any notes within the text.  Strong annotations lead to strong test grades.  I hope that you all are prepared for this exam.

2.  Your vocabulary slides are going to be graded a week from today (the 15th).  I'm including the link here.  To your A-day slide show.  Please follow the instructions in the document and upload your information.  The final due date is the beginning of class on the 15th.  I would recommend trying to do this THIS WEEKEND - that way if you have problems using the interface we can sort those out next week before it's due.

3.  You will want to get a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for class by the 15th.  We will start studying our next novel that day.  I'm looking forward to studying this book with all of you.  It's a wonderful text and I think you're going to all enjoy it a lot.

And now, the photos from today:

Excellent job with the skit project today!  I hope that this review of the major scenes in the text was fun and helpful for all of you.  Enjoy the weekend!

Homework for the Weekend - 11/8 and 11/9

This post is only for Freshman Focus and English IV - AP students will have their homework in a separate post.  One for A-day and one for B-day. 

Both Freshman Focus and English IV students do not have any homework for the weekend.  English IV students, I hope that you feel confident on your performance with today's exam.  I will have these back to you next week.

Freshman Focus students, we will be starting a group project next class.  You may want to consider who you would like to work with on this project.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homework for 11/5 and 11/7

We've got tomorrow off for Election Day!  I hope that you all encourage your parents and older relatives to vote.  I hope that those of you who may be too young to vote go out and volunteer to help get out the vote.  At the very least, make sure that you do the following.

Freshman Focus

There is no homework for tonight.  We will finish watching Two Million Minutes next class and you will have a writing assignment connected to this film.  Be ready for that.

AP English III

In the next post I will put up the beginnings for your vocabulary slides.  You may want to go ahead and get started on these, but remember that they won't be graded until the 15th and 16th.  For tonight you should be prioritizing your The Great Gatsby skits as well as studying for your exam on the novel.  Remember that each group will need to submit an extra copy of their skit to me in order to get full credit.  We will present our skits next class, be ready with all required materials at the beginning of the period.

English IV

Next class you have your exam on Book II of 1984.  We spent a good amount of time today going over what will be on the test and preparing for that.  Make sure that you are ready for this exam.  Study your vocabulary, study your notes, and prepare your book so that it's a good resource for you.

I think that's it.  Enjoy your day tomorrow!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Homework for the Weekend - 11/1 and 11/2

Freshman Focus

Now that we've finished our debate on education I would like for you all to review your experience and write a reflection. For the reflection, please answer the following questions:

1. Overall, how was this experience for you? What would you do differently next time? What do you think you did well?

2. Which team won the debate? Why did they win?

3. If we do another debate in class, what can I do to make the experience better for you?

Please answer the three questions in a brief paragraph for each. When you've finished, make sure that you turn in your work to me on Monday/Wednesday morning.

AP English III

I've gone ahead and given you the outline for your second vocabulary assignment - the vocabulary slides. I'm putting the link here so that you can review the required information needed on the slide. Be sure to use or the Oxford English Dictionary in my classroom to find the required information. This will be officially assigned to you on Monday/Wednesday.

The real assignment you have this weekend is the Woolf/Petrunkevitch tone compare/contrast assignment. To complete this assignment you must first complete the graphic organizer to find evidence from each piece. Then, you will create your one to two page assignment. With this assignment, don't focus on making a thorough essay - focus on creating your argument, proving the argument with evidence from the two pieces, and then conclude. Remember that the assignment is about comparing and contrasting the tone of the author - stay focused on the prompt. You will want to add complexity to your argument by coming to a decision as to why each author uses their particular tone.

These tone assignments and graphic organizers will be collected on Monday/Wednesday. No late assignments will be accepted. We're past that point.

English IV

For homework over the weekend you have two tasks to complete. First, you need to finish your quotation analysis from chapter ten if you did not finish it in class. If you did finish it, great! All you have to do is the test review. We will be having our test on Book II of 1984 on Thursday and Friday next week. To prepare, I would like for you all to do a bit of review and preparation for me. You will be writing sample test questions for Book II. I would like for you to write:
  • one short answer question
  • four multiple choice questions with answers
We will use these to begin our test review on Monday/Wednesday. You will be graded on this, so make sure that you have completed this assignment before you walk in.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homework for All Classes - 10/30 and 10/31

Happy second nine weeks!  Now that we've gotten off to a good start it's time to continue moving forward into the rest of the year.  Here are your reminders for all classes:

Freshman Focus

Next class will be our final class in the computer lab.  I would ask that you be prepared to either submit your final project (the career brochure) at the end of our computer time tomorrow or at our class immediately following that.  We will also continue our debate next class with the refutation and closing statements.  Be sure that you've participated to earn full credit for this activity.

AP English III

I was happy to see all of you dive right in to this The Great Gatsby skit assignment.  Remember to work effectively with your group members to accomplish and create a strong and thorough skit.  Make sure that you follow the guidelines in the assignment sheet.  Remember that this will count as a major grade for you and serve as your review before your exam on The Great Gatsby.

Besides working on your skit, I'd like for you to finish reading The Great Gatsby tonight.  You should take this time to finish up your annotations and continue working on vocabulary.  Next class we will be spending a good amount of time discussing "The Death of the Moth" and the final chapters of The Great Gatsby.  Be prepared for a quickly moving class on Thursday/Friday.

English IV

Tonight I want you to finish reading Book Two - but I don't want you to read all of chapter nine.  Only focus on reading pages 148-151, 164-165, and 179.  The other pages of the chapter are Goldstein's book and I don't think that you don't need to understand these portions to understand the book.  You also are going to want to focus on studying your vocabulary.  We'll soon have our Book Two test, which will be structured very similarly to your first test.  Try not to repeat the same mistakes.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Homework for 10/25 and 10/29

You can look at this as either your last homework assignment of the first nine weeks or your first homework assignment of the second nine weeks.  Either way, as long as you get your tasks completed, we'll all start off on the right note.

Freshman Focus

Next class we will be returning to the computer lab to continue constructing our career pamphlets.  I think that most of you will probably finish during this time.  I would also like to remind you that we will be doing the opening statements of our debate.  I think that the groups have clarified what they are trying to argue; I would remind you that this is a team effort.  Make sure that you are being an active participant.

AP English III

This weekend/Monday you've got a few things to take care of for me.  First, I'd like for you to read chapter eight of The Great Gatsby.  As we're now moving to the conclusion of the novel, I would remind you that you want to start seeing how Fitzgerald is tying up his loose ends and creating a message on these different topics and motifs.  Continue to annotate heavily and update your covers and vocabulary bookmarks.

Additionally, I would like for you to read Virginia Woolf's "The Death of the Moth" - this piece is available in 50 Essays or also at this link.  Be sure to annotate this piece and feel free to use it to stock your vocabulary bookmarks.  After you read this piece, take another look at the description of Myrtle's death scene.  There are some interesting parallels.

Lastly, I gave you your skit assignment today - think about what you'd like to do and who you'd like to work with; don't worry about making any progress on these assignments yet -- we'll start on that Tuesday/Wednesday of next week.

English IV

This weekend I'd like for you to read chapters seven and eight of 1984.  Continue to watch Julia, Winston, and O'Brien as they start to form different relationships and push the ideas in the text further.  We will soon start wrapping up this book.  Be sure to be prepared for any pop reading quizzes!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Homework for All Classes - 10/23 and 10/24

There is just one more A-day left this quarter.  Here are some final notes as we wind down this quarter and prepare for the next:

Freshman Focus

You do not have any homework tonight, but it would be a good idea to continue to prepare for your team debate as well as your research assignment.  Next class will be our final class in the Computer Lab to work on research, from there we will focus on putting the pamphlets together.  Be ready!

AP English III

Tonight for homework you need to read chapter seven of The Great Gatsby.  Chapter seven is relatively lengthy, but there is a lot happening in this chapter.  Make sure that you've read and annotated heavily as we will be working through a lot of ideas in this chapter in class on Thursday/Monday.  In addition, if you saw anything on your progress report today which was suspect or didn't seem right, please see me.  Be aware that Thursday by 3:00 PM is the last chance you have to see me about anything this quarter.

English IV

For tonight I'd like for you to read chapter six of 1984.  As you read chapter six, pay attention to the relationship between Winston and O'Brien that is developing.  What do you think of this relationship?  What are you finding about O'Brien which you didn't know before?  The book is starting to move in a very different direction and I want you to have a handle on that before you come to class next time.

Progress reports went out for all classes.  Please make sure you're using your progress report as a final check for the quarter.  See me if you have any questions or concerns.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Homework for the Weekend and Monday - 10/19 and 10/22

We're about to begin our final week of the first nine weeks!  Pay attention to the details below and finish strong!

Freshman Focus

Tonight for homework I'd like for you finish reading the New York Times article about paying students for their success in school.  On Tuesday/Wednesday we will participate in a small debate which will attempt to answer the following question:

Is this method a useful and effective one for dealing with the issue of laziness in American students?

Remember that we will begin our day in the computer lab across the hall working on more research for our career projects.

AP English III

Over the weekend you have a few things to prepare.  Let's go through those in the order of their importance:

1.  Your revised summer essays are due on Tuesday/Wednesday.  In order to receive credit you must submit the original essay with your rubric.  I have to see your improvements in order to score your work again.

2.  Your vocabulary bookmarks will be checked.  You need to have twenty entries - all with page numbers and personal definitions.

3.  You need to read chapter six of The Great Gatsby - remember to focus on the idea of the past and time as you read.  Use that as a lens to help you interpret the chapter.

I'll be here very late on Monday - feel free to make an appointment with me if you need additional assistance before the due date.  I will not be available for help over e-mail this weekend or on Tuesday.

English IV

Before next class I would like for you to read chapters four and five of 1984.  While you read, I would suggest taking notes due to the fact that you will have a reading quiz on these chapters when we see each other next class.  The quiz will likely be one of your final grades of the nine weeks.

All classes - You will be getting progress reports on Tuesday/Wednesday which will be updated to that date.  This provides you a chance to see where you stand before the quarter ends.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Notes and Reminders 10/17 and 10/18

Freshman Focus

Tonight for homework I'd like for you to finish your future success sketches.  I'll be checking these on Friday/Monday.  Pay special attention to the boxes for twenty or thirty years from now.  I want to make sure that you've thought about what career or job you'd have in your idea of success.  We'll then talk about what one needs to do to reach that point in terms of education.

AP English III

I'm extending the deadline on the conversation board until Friday/Monday for all classes.  Please make sure that you find the proper post for your class and post your response in the comment thread.  Don't forget your name at the end.  Be aware that I'm giving you this extension because this is the first time we've done this type of assignment - this extension will not be given again.

For tonight, be sure that you've read chapter five of The Great Gatsby and annotated it heavily.  Also, you will want to review your writing notes - we will be doing a copious amount of writing on Friday/Monday; make sure that you have your favorite pen.

English IV

With the presentations today and the test corrections I don't need you all doing any more work for me tonight.  If you did not get your project turned in today you're going to want to make sure that's done for our very next class.  Remember that you're losing points every day that the project is late.

All classes will get new progress reports next week.  Be aware of this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

B Day Discussion Board

B-day AP English III Students,

Please respond to the following question in a comment. Be sure to sign your name at the end of the comment to ensure you get credit.

Identify examples of informal language in this essay.  Is it appropriate and effective to her purpose or is it distracting?

Be sure that as you craft your response you use appropriate and convincing examples and explanation. This response will count as a homework grade.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homework for 15 and 16 October

There's a lot to get through for this Monday's posting.  Pay close attention to the instructions for each class.

Freshman Focus

Tonight I would like for you to sit down and talk with someone older than you about their high school or educational experiences.  Generate five questions about high school or education and then conduct an interview.  Remember that the person should be someone from your parent's generation or older.  No asking older siblings or cousins for thier feedback.  Write down your questions and the interview answers.  We'll begin by discussing our findings on Wednesday/Thursday.

AP English III

With the PSAT gracing our presence on Wednesday things are going to be a bit out of place.  Consider the assignments below due for Friday/Monday with the exception of the blog post which is due Wednesday/Thursday.

First, I would like for you to find your favorite pen.  It can be an ink pen, ball point, whichever you prefer, a fountain pen would work too.  Whichever type of pen you like to use, find it and bring it to class with you on Friday/Monday.  Additionally, be sure that you've read to the end of chapter four and five by Friday/Monday's class.  I know we didn't get through as much as I wanted today, but we will continue to get through more as we work through the text.  I think that even in our limited conversation we still hit on a lot of major ideas that work themselves out throughout the text.  Continue to pay attention to the different questions we raised, and how these questions are answered.  Additionally, now that you have your vocabulary assignment, be working on that.  I would like to collect your first bookmarks on 10/23 and 10/24.

Finally, in the post below this there is a discussion thread for A-day students and one for B-day students (coming after class on Tuesday).  Please respond to the thread question in a comment.  When you finish your comment, be sure to leave your name so that I can assign credit.  Only responses posted before class begins will be eligable for credit.

English IV

Next class you'll be getting up and presenting your Propaganda projects.  For tonight, I would like for you to spend some time finishing these projects so that they show your best work.  Be sure that you have completed all of the steps on the back and that you have completed a writing assignment which follows the guidelines given to you on the assignment sheet.  As part of your grade you will present your poster, explain your message, and take questions from the audience.  Be sure that you're ready.

A-Day AP English III Discussion Board


Please respond to the following question in a comment.  Be sure to sign your name at the end of the comment to ensure you get credit.

Ericsson uses her personal experience to illustrate some but not all of her categories of lying.  Is her allotment of personal reference effective, or does it fragment the essay?

Be sure that as you craft your response you use appropriate and convincing examples and explanation.  This response will count as a homework grade.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Homework for the Weekend 10/11 and 10/12

It's crazy to think that we've had almost a full nine weeks of class already.  Remember to catch up if you're falling behind, especially with the end of the quarter coming so quickly.

Freshman Focus

Today in class most students finished their essays and then we began to present essays to the class.  We will continue this on Monday/Tuesday.  Please make sure that your essay is complete, it is correctly formatted, and that you have submitted all of your drafts.  These essays will likely be your last major grade for the quarter - be sure to make it count!

AP English III

I was very impressed to see you all getting so quickly into The Great Gatsby and unlocking a lot of meaning connected to the characters.  We didn't have a chance to work through the first two chapters, so we'll hold that off until Monday/Tuesday.  For the weekend, I would like for you to read Stephanie Ericsson's "The Ways We Lie" which is in 50 Essays or at this link.  Be sure to read carefully and annotate.  Also, you should read chapter three of The Great Gatsby.  It's my hope that next week we will begin to pull together some of these ideas and have some really amazing conversations.

Lastly, don't forget that the window for revised essays is closing soon.  Make sure that you are actively working to revise your summer essays and submit them for a new score.  Submissions must be turned in by 10/23 and 10/24.

English IV

Next week you will have your propaganda projects collected.  Please make sure that you are putting time and effort into these projects as they will count as a large major test grade.  Over the weekend you should put time into your explanation of the poster.  Explain what message you are trying to convey to the viewer of the poster and how it is that you are communicating that message.  Be sure to focus on the details of your poster.  Also, continue moving forward in Book Two of 1984.  Read chapter three and continue to note the changes in Winston as he and Julia's relationship continues to develop.

I'll see you all on the flip side!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homework for 10/9 and 10/10

Now that you have had a bit of time off from your first test, it's time to get back to business.  Here are some reminders for all of you as we move foward.

Freshman Focus

You have now completed the first draft of each part of your essay.  What you need to do is to begin putting the two parts together with the feedback you've received from your peers.  In class on Wednesday/Thursday we will be returning to the media center to finish our drafts.  Make sure that no matter what, you are prepared to present your draft on Monday/Tuesday the 15th/16th as this will be the day that your essays will be collected.

AP English III

I hope that you all enjoyed the discussion today on art and culture in the 1920's.  I was happy to see that many students who haven't participated that much began to open up and share to create knowledge in the room.  Please continue to open up - it's more fun that way.  For tonight, I would like for you to finish reading chapter one and two of The Great Gatsby.  As you read, continue to annotate.  Look especially at information for your front and back covers and continue to build on the ideas we've been discussing.  Show me what you can come up with and be an active reader.

English IV

I was impressed with what you all were seeing in our reading circle today about Winston, Julia, their budding relationship, and the society in which they live.  Tonight, I want you to finish reading chapter one of book two - continue adding to your notes and observations regarding our two characters and the questions I posed for you at the beginning of class.  After you finish chapter one, please continue on to chapter two.

It would also be a good idea to review your new vocabulary words as these will be asked about soon on a quiz.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Homework/Reminders for 10/2 and 10/3

Happy October!  С НОВЫМ ОКТЯБРЕМ!

A little bit of Russian for all of ya.  Now, let's move on to the business.

Freshman Focus

If you didn't finish your brainstorming about the three most important moments in your life and what you learned from that moment - you will need to finish that tonight for homework.  Remember, the hardest thing is getting started when it comes to writing -- overtake that blank page.  That way when we meet in the Media Center on Friday/Monday you'll begin to immediately write.

AP English III

Study.  And then after that, study some more.  Then, keep studying :)  Here's an abbreviated list for where you should focus your energy as you prepare. 
  • tone words - study your chart, know positives and negatives, learn definitions for new words, prepare yourselves for multiple choice questions regarding tone.
  • the rhetorical appeals - know the difference between these
  • your writing notes - you'll have four short answers and I'll be looking to see improvement and an embrace of AP writing with complete arguments and explanations.
  • you'll be asked specific questions about King, Eighner, White, Thoreau, and Emerson
  • visual rhetoric
A tip for studying - I learned this at Carolina - write the types of questions you think I would ask you (think about the types of questions I have you consider during class) and then practice responding.  Collect your ideas.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you all produce.

English IV

You all also need to study.  You'll have your first test on Book One of 1984 on Friday/Monday.  You should be prepared on the following ideas specifically:
  • your vocabulary - you will have fill in the blanks questions regarding vocabulary words
  • the characters we've met in Book One, their importance to the story, and their connection to Winston
  • there will also be multiple choice questions regarding literary devices, overall ideas, and other topics related to the text.
  • I would be sure to reread chapter eight, some multiple choice questions will be focused directly from here.
The exam will be open book, except for the multiple choice portion.  Prepare yourself accordingly.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Apologies. Again.

For yet another entry I forget to make the post during my planning period, and just now am I doing it, after dinner. Here are your reminders.

Freshman Focus

You should begin to brainstorm your ideas for the This I Believe essays. Today I gave you the assignment sheet which goes over some ideas. Tomorrow in class we'll spend some time developing these ideas and planning.

AP English III

You all have your first big test coming up soon! Your Transcendentalism unit test. Tonight you should begin to study and prepare for the test on Friday. Remember that I will not give you a study guide or prepared review sheet. It is your responsibility to generate questions to ask during class on Wednesday/Thursday.

We'll begin our next novel soon, The Great Gatsby. We won't start reading until next week. Try to get yourselves a copy before next week. I'll have copies to check out the day of the test for you if you don't plan to get your own.

Lastly, today was really the last day of bootcamp you may want to begin revising. The window for revisions is only open for the next few weeks.

English IV

At the end of the week you all will be having your first test on book one of 1984. You should begin studying now. Know your vocabulary words very well as there will be part of your test asking you to apply these words. The test will be open book, but you still need to be ready. One part of the test will be closed book.

You should also do work on your propaganda assignment. We will work on these more next class after we watch the first part of the film version of 1984.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I remembered that word!

AP Juniors - The opening to a letter is called a salutation. Use that word instead of the lame word I used in class because I blanked.

I enjoyed the seminar a lot today. I hope you all did too. Any comments?

B-day kids. Bring it tomorrow.

Homework for the Weekend - 9/27 and 9/28

And with that it's the end of September.  Onward to October, the end of the first nine weeks, and eventually Thanksgiving break.

Freshman Focus

You all don't have any homework over the weekend but you will want to make sure that you've read the two articles I gave you and thought about the overall questions for each article.  If you didn't get a chance to answer the overall questions, then you'll want to have those answered before walking in on Monday/Tuesday.

AP English III

Over the weekend I want for all of you to do some reading for me.  First, I want you to read E.B. White's "Once More to the Lake."  This piece can be found in 50 Essays or at this link.  Remember to read and annotate carefully.  Try to make links between this piece and many of the other Transcendental pieces we've studied.  In addition, I'd like for all of you to reread the final chapter of Grapes of Wrath - I think that after all of this Transcendentalism discussion you'll understand what Steinbeck is doing at the end of the novel.  Take a second look and let me know what you think.

Finally, be aware that we will be having our first unit test very soon.  The unit test will be on Grapes of Wrath and Transcendentalism.  It would be a good idea to begin reviewing and studying now.

English IV

For the weekend I would like for you all to spend some time preparing for your Book One exam.  You should study vocabulary from the vocabulary list and review chapters one through eight.  By this point you should have notes on all of the chapters; if you're missing something, ask me or a classmate.  Next week we will look at the Propaganda Project and we will begin watching the film version of 1984.  I started rewatching it last night and saw some really interesting things.  I'm looking forward to sharing this film with you all.

Lastly - progress reports went home today for A-day students.  B-day students will get their reports tomorrow.  Please get these signed and returned.  AP parents should be aware of the fact that summer assignment grades will likely go up once students begin to revise their assignments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homework for 9/25 and 9/26


I'm out of the building tomorrow in observance of Yom Kippur.  B-day students, I hope that you enjoy your day with the substitute.  Below are your reminders of what you need to have accomplished before you enter class on Thursday/Friday.

Freshman Focus

For Thursday's class we will be seeing several presentations depicting your ideas of the second part of Family Man.  On Thursday you'll have ten minutes to prepare and then we will go through our scenes.  Remember that you need to have a copy of all three skits to turn into me.  You also will want to have props and costumes for your characters as well as any backgrounds or music.  Remember that everyone needs to have a role in the presentation in order to get credit.  You'll be graded as a group on your scripts and then individually on your acting.

AP English III

On Thursday/Friday I'll be collecting your journals for this first nine weeks as well as your tone analysis assignments.  Let me review for you a few of the important aspects of the tone assignment.
  1. You're going to want to structure both an argument and a paragraph clarifying your argument.
  2. Your argument should pass the DADS test.  Part of what I'm assessing is that you have embraced this idea.
  3. I will want to see clear explanation of details from the paragraph you've chosen to help support your argument.  Remember to make connections and explain them.
  4. I'm looking forward to seeing how you all have begun to improve as writers from bootcamp.
English IV

We will be finishing our discussion of Book One of 1984 on Thursday/Friday.  Make sure that you've finished reading to the end of chapter eight to be ready for this.  Also, you will want to make sure you've spent time studying your vocabulary lists.  There will be a vocabulary section on your Book One test.  Lastly, make sure your journals are in order and all the entries are finished as I'll be collecting those too.

Progress reports will go out on Thursday/Friday after I return.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Apologies for Posting Late! Homework for 9/22 and 9/24

Again, apologies everyone!  Here are your reminders for what you need to accomplish before our next class on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Freshman Focus

There is a very important thing you should all be aware of - progress reports are going out next week.  Some of you are missing some assignments, including your Future Autobiography project.  Make sure that you get these assignments done and turned in as soon as possible.  Over the weekend you may want to spend some time working on your skits project.  Consider props and costumes for your character to use during your presentation.  You will have time to work on this more on Tuesday/Wednesday, but you should really attempt to be to the point where you are practicing with your group in class on Tuesday/Wednesday.

AP English III

For our next class I would like for you to begin putting our work from bootcamp into your composition.  I would like for you to take a very close look at one of Dr. King's paragraphs from his "Letter" - take a special look at tone.  Determine what King's tone is and then show me what King uses to develop and make his tone clear to the reader.  Make sure to stay focused just on one paragraph and stay focused on tone.  You should open your piece with an argument about what King's tone is and then prove that argument to be true using evidence from the paragraph under consideration.  The idea here is to focus focus!

English IV

We are going to get into the final bit of Book One of 1984.  Some very exciting things happen to Winston, especially as we get ready to get into Book Two.  We're going to start focusing on a lot of the literary elements of the text and focus in on writing as we move forward.  Continue finding ways to get interested in this text.  Many of you are doing very well in understanding what Orwell is creating in this book.  Read chapter six and seven of 1984 and we will discuss them on Tuesday/Wednesday. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Homework for 9/19 and 9/20

Happy middle of the week, everyone!  A few assignments and pieces for you to consider tonight to prepare for Friday/Monday. 

Freshman Focus

You all have two things due for Friday/Monday.  First, you will need to be sure that you complete the Family Man viewing guide and have all questions thoroughly answered.  This will count as a larger classwork grade, so be sure that it reflects your best work.  The second thing to complete is your Future Autobiography Comic Assignment.  Follow the instructions on the planning guide.  On Friday you will have approximately twenty minutes to put any finishing touches on your work and then we will present.  Each member of the class will be expected to present one comic strip and explain how it shows your personal definition of success.  The presentation will count as a part of your overall grade on the assignment.

AP English III

I want all of you to remember that we are starting a hard journey today.  The journey to improve your writing, which is one of the most important things I can do for all of you.  Remember that I'm always here on Monday and Wednesday afternoons to give personal assistance or guidance if you need it.  Next class we are going to spend some time discussing arguments/thesis statements and then we will go into the King piece thoroughly. 

To add some depth to our discussion of Dr. King I'd like for you to read another piece by Thoreau which can be found here.  This piece is heavily excerpted, but you should be able to do the following:  read it, annotate it, uncover his argument, and compare his piece to that of Dr. King.  Understanding Thoreau will help you to make some leaps to Transcendentalism, which is of course important.

English IV

As we are beginning to explore some of the more significant elements of 1984, I want you tonight to take a bit of time to reflect on what you've learned today about North Korea.  In a one paragraph response I want you to explain to me (1) what is most surprising to you about North Korea, and then (2) explain why that element is so surprising to you.  As we move to Friday/Monday we will begin our first project on propaganda and continue reading to the next section of the book. 

As always, if you have questions - please ask!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homework for the Weekend 9/13 and 9/14

We've finally started to hit our stride a bit this year.  At least I feel like I have finally gotten back into the swing of school.  Here are some reminders for all of you this weekend.

Freshman Focus

Over the weekend you should spend some time working on your first project grade, your future autobiography comic strip assignment.  As we went through the instructions today it's important that you realize that each moment of success needs to have its own comic strip.  All together, these comic strips will create your future autobiography.  You're not going to be graded on your artistic skills, but I do want to see that they're neat, colorful, focused on your moments of success, and that you're showing me the process which leads to your moment of success in each strip.  You'll have some time to work on these assignments in class on Wednesday/Thursday.  They'll be due on Friday/Monday.

English IV

Over the weekend you will need to read to the end of chapter five in preparation for your first quiz on 1984.  I'm going to ask you questions about the major moments of the plot, the characters, some interpretation questions about important quotes, and your opinion on some of the major issues that this book as raised in class.  There may also be some questions related to the article we read in class about the government's surveillance center.  The quiz will be open book and open note.  Remember that my goal is not to trick you but to see what you know and think about this book.

Make sure that over the weekend you read to the end of chapter five which happens around page fifty-five.

AP English III

I hope that all of you in all of these conversations that we're having in class are starting to see connections between the different elements of the philosophy of Transcendentalism and the different pieces of literature we've been studying.  Over the weekend I want you to read an annotate Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham City Jail" - it can be found in 50 Essays or at this link.  As you read, look for the elements of the philosophy which we've been discussing in class.  Use those as your anchors and notice as well what Dr. King's argument is and how he goes about proving his argument.  We will not discuss this piece until Wednesday/Thursday, but do have it prepared.

I think that's all.  Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Homework for 11/12 September

All classes have something to accomplish outside of class before we see each other again, feel free to ask any questions about the assignments in a comment or via e-mail.

Freshman Focus

I would like for all of you to spend some more time thinking about your values and the values of the people around you.  For the Values Venn Diagram assignment I would like to see you compare and contrast your values to those of your Parent/Guardian and one of your friends.  Ask then what they value and then consider any similarities or differences.  Remember that for each person you must consider a minimum of five values.  There are ideas on that sheet as well as other values which we've discussed earlier in the week.

English IV

For homework tonight I would like for you to continue reading Book One of 1984.  This will take you to page thirty-four in our editions.  As you read, continue to be on the lookout for new vocabulary words to learn and new insights about Winston's society.  I was pleased with what you all were noticing today in class and the connections that you were able to make.  I look forward to seeing what other observations you make as we move forward.  Also be aware of the fact that we will have a quiz on this opening part of the book next week.  It would be a good idea to prepare by reviewing.

AP English III

For tonight I want you to continue chewing on Transcendentalism and read one of the most important pieces in this movement.  Tonight you'll read "Where I Lived and What I Lived For" by Thoreau.  This is in 50 Essays and can be found at this link.  Please read and annotate the text and then answer question four from 50 Essays.  The question asks you to consider something like the railroad from Thoreau's text (an object created to be useful but which actually creates a burden in our lives).  I want you to think of a similar object and consider the reasons why this object is burdensome instead of helpful.  Written responses to this question should be no longer than a page (typed, double spaced) and should be ready to be collected at the beginning of class.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Homework for the Weekend and Monday

A few notes and reminders for all of you as we move to the weekend.

Freshman Focus:

You all don't have any homework this weekend.  Please remember that if you haven't turned in your signed rules and policies sheet then you will need to get that to me Tuesday/Wednesday.

English IV:

We've been thrown off a bit what with being moved to a new class and then with the senior class meetings with guidance which have fallen during our class these last few days.  When we get together again on Tuesday/Wednesday I would like to make sure that all of you have read the first chapter of Orwell's 1984.  We will do work with this first chapter on Tuesday/Wednesday to understand what ideas Orwell is setting up for us at the beginning of this novel.

AP English III:

You all have Ralph Waldo Emerson's "The Over-Soul" to read and annotate.  As I said in class, this piece is difficult namely because it is a piece of philosophy and that it was written in the 1800's.  The sentence structure is hard to follow and some of the vocabulary may be over your head.  I want you to keep coming back to Jim Casy as you go through this piece and work for understanding.  Try to find the similarities between Emerson's philosophy, concept of the over-soul, and Jim Casy's guiding philosophy.  This piece is integral in understanding one of Steinbeck's main points in the text.

We will be having a seminar on Tuesday/Wednesday on this piece.  Come with thorough annotations as well as any questions that you would like to raise with the group.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Homework for All Classes - 5/6 September

Today was a bit of a first day of school for me.  Meeting new groups of students and starting with some new classes.  I'm excited to get going with all of you.  Here are your reminders to prepare for Friday/Monday.

Freshman Focus

I would like for all of you to turn in your parent contact forms on Friday.  This is your only homework assignment for tonight.

AP English III

For our next class I'd like for you to review chapters three and four of The Grapes of Wrath.  I really want you to focus in on Jim Casy and understand his philosophy.  This way of thinking is going to be very important to the way that we study the rest of the text.  Furthermore, I'd like for you to read chapters five, seven, and eight.  As you read those chapters, focus on the characters, the idea of irony, the American Dream, any symbolism, and the comparison of people to animals.  All of these things are important elements of Steinbeck's writing.

Furthermore, remember that you have writing assignments due on Friday/Monday.  I really appreciate the fact that so many of you have come to see me for extra feedback.

English IV

Tonight I want you to finish reading the first chapter of 1984 by George Orwell.  As you read, remember to continue to add to your character list, noting the name of the character, the page number, and any notes that you got about that character from the page.  Also, continue to make note of new words, we will spend some time on Friday/Monday working through those new words and developing our vocabulary.

Also, I need your parent contact form returned.

I think that'll do it for all of us, see you Friday/Monday.